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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Don’t Always Try To Understand; Instead Trust God

In summary of Proverbs 3:5-6 it says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

Bottom line
Deeply Trust God and not yourself or your own insight/understanding.  In all that you do, let him lead you, he will set you on the right path.

What this means to me:
This passage tells me to:

  • Trust God with all your heart and mind, (lean on him, be confident)
  • Don’t depend/rely on your insight/understanding (not leaning or count on my own judgment or understanding / or trying to figure it all out on my own)
  • In all my ways acknowledge him (know, recognize), Seek his will in all I do (always let him lead), listen for his voice
  • When I do the above, He will direct and/or clear the road and show me which path to take
When I face what appears to be a roadblock or a dead end, I need to immediately go to and start trusting God.  I then need to move on in faith, even when I don’t see a way; he has promised he will make the way.  It may not always make sense to me, but he will provide understanding as I head down the path he guides me in.  I need to realize that my upfront understanding is not always a requirement for me to follow what he says.  I may not understand it fully until later or even further out; when I am with him in eternity.  In the meantime, trust God and not myself, he will show me the path to take.  I need to be patient, God knows what’s best for me (He see the end result.)  All the things I may ask “why” will one day become clear in the light of his love for me.  For now, I just need to trust God.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Learning How To Tune Into God

In summary of Job 33:14 it says, “God speaks in different ways, but we don’t always recognize his voice.”

Bottom Line:
God does speak to us, we just need to learn to recognize his voice.

What this means to me:
God speaks and reveals his will all the time.  He speaks in different ways (often simultaneously) however, I might not always recognize or perceive it.  He has designed me to hear his voice (I have a built in “receiver” in which to get his guidance.)  
God’s primary way of speaking is:
  • Through his word (the Bible). If I read each day, I can find God's will for me.)
  • God also speaks through pastors and teachers (this is especially evident when I feel as if what they are teaching/saying directly relates to me.)
  • God speaks through other Christians, even myself.
  • It’s important for me to stay in tune to him and learn his Word as sometimes God may use me to say things to others that he wants them to hear (God can speak through me.)
  • God speaks through my circumstances (and pain.)  
God is speaking all the time, but in order to hear, I must listen.  If I tune into God, he will lead me on the right path.  Today I will think through what he may be saying to me in his word (today’s study), through what I’m hearing from trusted individuals, and through my current circumstance to see if he is trying to tell me something I may not be hearing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Asking For And Obtaining Wisdom

In summary of James 1:5-6 it says, “If you need wisdom, ask God and he will give it to you.  He love to help and won’t rebuke or put you down just for asking.  But when you ask you must be sure your faith is in God alone.  If you doubt, you’ll be just tossed and blown around like the wind never getting anywhere.”

Bottom line:
If you don’t know what you’re doing, ask God. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.  But ask boldly, believingly, and without a second thought.

What this means to me:
Not if, but when I need wisdom (and I need to realize that I need this more often than not),  I can come to God and ask him.  He loves to help and won’t be-little me for asking.  It is important however that when I come to him that I put all my trust in him and what he reveals to me, I can’t just get his input and then compare it to mine - picking what I think is best or doubting what He reveals to me.   Any doubt will keep me tossing back and forth like the wind or a wave - never settled.  I need to go with and trust his wisdom and not look back.  Overall I know that God wants to direct me in life.  I need two things; I need to ask him and I when I ask it has to be with the right attitude (one in faith, expecting that he will answer.)  I can’t very well ask God for something but never expect to get it.  God will work in my life according to my faith.  I need to be sure I’m not just asking “God, please guide me” but then walk away not even waiting for his guidance (just start working right away.)  The wisdom I will get will help me see it from his point of view.  It will be the ability to make decisions the way God would.  In his word, God tells me to trust and listen to him.  He will guide me, but I must ask in faith.  As I move forward with goals and plans for this year, I will come to God and ask for his wisdom expecting to get it.  I will move forward in faith with what he reveals.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Guide To Help

In summary of Psalm 25:9 it says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Bottom Line:
If you are humble he will lead you in what is right and guides you in his way.

What this means to me:
In order to be guided or teached I need to first be humble (not a know it all.)  Secondly I need to admit that I need a guide.  Both of these are hard, they go against my natural pull.  Like a sheep, I tend to wander off of the path and have poor vision. I don’t always want to follow or admit I need direction. I need to remember that my lack of being able to see what’s ahead or in the future is by God’s design.  He did this so that I would turn and depend on him.  I need to be careful of paths I’m choosing that I’m not including God in.  It may seem right to me, but some paths lead to dead ends, destruction or getting me off track.  When I am humble he will guide me step-by-step and help me make decisions, allowing me to keep on the right path.  This is why I need to admit, “God I need your help.”  Today I will reflect on this and see if I’m doing larger decisions on my own.  If so, I need to ask God for his direction.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Conviction Leads My Spiritual Growth

In summary of Romans 12:2 it says, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you”

Bottom line:
Don’t let what you see around you in the world make you comfortable in the way it thinks, softening up your thinking.  Instead look to God for what is right, then you will be changed from the inside out. You will be able to recognize what he wants from you.  God will bring the best out of you.

What this means to me:
I am not to adopt the behavior and thoughts of the world around me which adapts to superficial customs.  I need to be careful that I don’t let what’s around me squeeze me into is mould.  The only way to combat this is to let God refresh and transform my thinking to be more in line with his.  The closer I get to him the more I’ll know his will for me and more I’ll develop and grow in character being the person he wants me to be.  Knowing his will helps develop convictions in me.  Without convictions I would likely fall to the mercy of circumstances or to following the culture around me.  It’s highly important that I don’t let others determine what my life will be about.  It is my convictions that help me be diligent in growing spiritually, they help me stick with it even when I’m tempted to be discourage or give up.  If I’m to be a person of impact in the world for him, I need to hold to strong and deep convictions and then help others understand what he’s all about and how following him can make a big difference in life.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Convictions Determine Conduct

In summary of Hebrews 11:1 it says, “Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.”

Bottom line:
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

What this means to me:
Faith to me means putting my assurance (my confirmation) in the things that I hope for, being the proof of things I do not actually see, but having the conviction of their fact / reality.  It’s a faith that makes me sure of what I hope for and it gives me proof of that which I cannot see.  The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes my life worth living. It’s my handle on what I can’t see.  It’s a conviction that includes all my values, commitments, and motivations. “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!"   And it is my convictions that determine my conduct.  It’s what motivates me to act in a certain way.  It is interesting that many in our society have strong convictions about weak issues (football, fashions, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong).  I hope that today I can be a man who models my convictions and makes others interested in why I’m so different and for the hope that I have.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

God Has Great Things Planned For You; Now And Forever

In summary of Psalm 23:6 it says, "Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

Bottom Line:
You kindness and love will always be with me everyday, and I will live forever with you.

What this means to me:
God will never be mean to me or do something to hurt me.  His unfailing love (I can’t do anything to change or affect it) will follow me all of my days on this earth and into eternity.  There is great comfort in knowing that I will dwell with him and be in his presence forever.  With this as a background God’s love for me means that he has a great life planned for me now and at the end (things will just keep getting better and better with the best yet to come.)  My body won’t last forever.  When it does, this won’t be the end of me as I will leave this earthly body and will come home to live with him forever in heaven.  We are all going to end up in one of two places - Heaven or Hell.  Accepting Christ into my life as leader guarantees my place next to him in heaven.  Forever is going to be a long time (much more than this life.)   in retrospect the only things that will last (that I can take on with me beyond this life) are the relationships I form and those I can assist here on earth.  Given this I should consider today and the rest of the week how I can change my current plans, schedule, actions and goals toward forming the relationships and doing good for others.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God's Unique Role for Me

In summary of Ephesians 2:10 it says, “God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That’s why he sent Christ to make us what we are.”

Bottom Line:
God has planned us out in order to accomplish good things and live a life he wants us to live.  He send his son Christ to bring us back to this.

What this means to me:
I am a masterpiece of God (his handiwork / workmanship.)  He created me new in Christ Jesus so that I can do the things he has pre-planned that only I can do.  I owe who I am today to God’s work. I can continue to be of use to him if I walk the paths he has prepared for me.  The result will be a good life dedicated to his service.  Overall he has a unique role for me to play.  Part of this role (leading home fellowship groups / participating as part of the worship team) is within the local church I am a member of.  In this way I help the church accomplish it’s goals.  I am not to just model God’s love by loving each other; I am to carry it together to the rest of the world.  God also has a wider ministry for me and I’m still learning what that is.  I need to make sure I don’t lose sight of this.  I need to get after it and do my part to further his Kingdom.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Wise Keep On Track

In summary of Proverbs 4:21-22 it says, “Don't lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning”

Bottom Line:
Don’t forget a single word, but think about it all.  Knowing these teachings will mean true life and good health for you.

What this means to me:
I need to keep his word close at heart.  If I start to lose track, I’ll go off course.  Keeping them close, letting them penetrate deep into my heart will bring guidance and better understanding and success to my life.  One of the pitfalls I face often is the temptation to take shortcuts (moral, ethical, spiritual or relational) to reach a goal.  Often they don’t really get me to where I really want to be, they just look to be the quick way there.  When I do take them they end up distracting me from what God wants me to do.  God wants me to not be absorbed with the things right in front of me.  He wants me to look up and be alert to what’s going on around me.  Christ is at work, that’s where the action is.  Today I will consider my goals and try to see if I’m approaching them via shortcuts.  If so, instead of the shortcut I need to consider his words and follow him to get to that goal.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Wise Look Ahead And Make Plans

In summary of Proverbs 14:8 it says, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts.”

Bottom Line:
The wise one will look ahead and understand where they are going, but a fool just deceives himself.

What this means to me:
I need to have enough sense to look ahead, see what’s coming, try to give thought to and understand where I’m going.  If I don’t I’m only fooling myself (unwarranted self confidence) as I will probably never get to where I want to go.  Following and living as God tells me provides comprehensive insight.  I also need to keep track on where I’m going in life.  I should put together a plan knowing what God is telling me but also not stubborningly holding it too tight.  Putting a plan together helps uncover some pitfalls we might encounter and how to apply God’s way of dealing with them.  Today I will ask God to help me as I begin to establish goals for the next decade in my life.  I’ll evaluate my goals in relation to the power of God in my life.  I’ll also begin to think about lessons I’ve learned from the last 10 years.  Overall, with whatever it is I plan, I need to be able to flex and adjust and God brings new insights or assignments my way.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Wise Spend Time With God

In summary of Proverbs 2:6 it says, “It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding”

Bottom Line:
God is the one who provides real wisdom; from him comes knowledge and understanding.

What this means to me:
The best source for knowing how life works is the creator.  God grants and gladly gives out his wisdom for free.  From Him alone comes knowledge and understanding.  In order to get and hear wisdom from God I need to get near him.  It is difficult for me to hear him when my mind is filled with lots of other distractions.  This is why is it’s important for me to set aside the first part of my day (usually my best part of the day) with him alone.  The Bible tells me the “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10.)  This means I need to sit down and shut up.  I need to sit alone and just be quiet with my Bible and say, “God, is there anything you want to say to me?”, then I read his Word and talk to him about what’s on my heart.  Today I pray, “God, I do want to listen to you and not to any voices of doubt.  I want to hear you, then I want to obey what you say.  I want to be one of the people that you can use and bless in the next 10 years.  I want these to be a decade of destiny for me and for my family.”  Given this I need to consider what changes I should make in my daily quiet time routine, so that I can be quiet and draw closer to him.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Being Wise And Listening To God

In summary of Proverbs 1:7 it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Bottom Line:
When you take God seriously that's when you cross over into real knowledge, but a fool will despise this and instruction that comes from it.

What this means to me:
Taking God seriously (respecting and obeying) is the first step to crossing over a razor thin line between folly and wisdom.  It is this step that you begin a true trip into a foundation of knowledge and wisdom.  Not taking God seriously and mocking this leaves one in the side of folly, its like rejecting wisdom and good advice.  This means the first step in to real learning is to bow down to God and not thumb a nose at him and such wisdom and learning that can be had.  We must move forward with what He instructs us to do even when we don’t know what the outcome will be.  That’s what faith is all about, being certain of something we don’t see.  The one we follow has a track record of always coming through with what is best for us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Importance Of My Specific Quiet Time Routine

In summary of Mark 1:35 it says, “Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray.”

Bottom Line:
Early in the morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray.

What this means to me:
Early in the morning, while I’m fresh I get up get myself ready and begin my day by praying. This is the time when I’m at my best/freshest.  I want to give him the first part of my day and not any leftovers.  


  • I have a document where I have written out the areas of what I want to pray for (this keeps me on track and I can continually adjust it.)  I follow the A.C.T.S format.  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
I strive to leave for work early (30min - 1 hour) and stop at a Starbucks near my office.  I get myself a cup of coffee and start up my laptop and access Google Docs.  

Actual Study:
  • At this point I spend time in his word going through either a verse of the day, or some form of daily devotional (“You Version’s Daily Devotional” or “Daily Hope” both by Rick Warren) and having my quiet time with God.  I pick a verse from my study for the day.
  • I review it in several translations ( - multiple verse lookup feature; The Message, Amplified, JB Phillips, Contemporary English and New Living Translation version.)  
  • I use Google docs to write down the date and where I’m at (Starbucks, a Hotel, Home, Work, etc..)
  • I write a summary statement (from the devotional or one that I think ends up matching my study.)
  • Cut and paste the various translations into the document.
  • Write a summary statement that captures the essence of the verse as best I can see from the various translations.
  • I then write a “Bottom Line” statement (a very condensed, get to the point statement of the verse.)
  • I then write open-ended “What this means to me:”   This is a combination of what comes to me from the verse and I then augment it with portions of learning from the daily devotional.  I typically aim to include a next step statement for myself.
  • Once I have completed this, I open my blog and paste in what I learned.

This is a fairly routine habit I have developed during the week day and I look forward to it.  It starts my day off right and gives me perspective as I handle things of the day.  It’s important for me to do this as a priority and to do it before anything else I have in the day so that I can start out with quieting my desires and living by His perspective.  Early in the morning works well for me, as Stephanie is dressed and out of the house and Jeanne is still asleep - the house is quiet.  I spend the first part of my quiet time praying.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quiet Time: Coming With The Right Attitudes

In summary of John 7:17 it says, “If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I merely speak on my own authority.”

Bottom Line:
If you really want to obey God, you will know if what I teach comes from God or from me.

What this means to me:
If I desire to to God’s will, I will recognize and know whether the teaching is from God or just stuff Jesus thought up.  The teaching can be tested.  In God's eyes, why I do something is far more important than what I do.  I can do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.  When I come to God in my quiet times, I should always reflect the following attitudes:  Expectancy - I should come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expecting to have a good time of fellowship with him and receive a blessing from the time together.  Reverence - I shouldn't rush into God's presence, but instead prepare my heart by being still before him and letting the quietness clear away any thoughts of the world or things around me.  Alertness - I need to be wide-awake and remember that I’m meeting with the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Redeemer of men; I need to be fully rested and alert (I need to make sure I get to bed at a reasonable time so that I can be in good shape to meet God in the morning.   Willingness to obey - I needn't come to my quiet time to choose what I will do or won’t do, but instead come with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants or tells me to do (coming to meet the Lord having already chosen to do his will no matter what.)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Love Is An Action

In summary of 1 John 3:18 it says, “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions”

Bottom Line:
Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice it.

What this means to me:
I’m not to just give lip service or talk about loving others.  I need to show my commitment by my actions.  This means not just having good intentions but truly helping others.   In the Christian life love is an action, a behavior a way of treating others.   Love in God’s sense is not an emotion, it is an action.  The proof is in the product, our love will be revealed in how we act towards others.  Today I will consider how I’m loving others by how I’m treating them.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Love Is Always Choice

In summary of Deuteronomy 30:20a, it says, “You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.

Bottom Line:
Make the choice by loving God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him.  This is a real key to life.

What this means to me:
Part of my love for him is to rely and have my faith completely in him, following and doing whatever it is he tells me.  The more I understand love from God’s perspective the more I’m able to break the traditional thinking that love is uncontrollable - something that just happens to us (attraction and arousal.)  Love isn’t something that just happens to me.  Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.  I must choose to love God; he will never force me.  This principle is true about any of my relationships; I need to choose to love others, God will never force me to love anyone.  This means I need to remind myself of this daily and choose to love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Love Because God Loves Us

In summary of 1 John 4:19 it says, “We love because God loved us first.”

Bottom line:
First we were loved, now we love.

What this means to me:
God first loved me.  Because of this I am learning to really love.  I find more each day of how I’m created in God’s image to do two things; learning to love God and learning to love other people.  In short life is all about love.  This love started with God.  He loved me first and gives me the ability to love others.  He showed his love by sending Jesus Christ to die for me.  He showed his love by creating me.  He showed his live by everything I have currently in live; it’s all a gift of God’s love.  In order for me to love it’s important for me to experience the love of God daily and really get it in my heart that he loves me unconditionally.  I need to learn to become secure in the fact that I can’t do much to keep him from loving me..  The more I do this the more I’ll be able to cut people some slack, not get angry as much, become more patient / forgiving, be more merciful and more able to give others grace.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God Smiles When I Obey

In summary of James 2:24 it says, “You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe.”

Bottom Line:
We please God by what we do and not only through what we believe.

What this means to me:
I am more justified by what I do and not only what I believe.  It is through my works of obedience as well as what I believe.  My beliefs are shown in my actions (I truly believe what I believe and I’m willing to act upon it.)  God smile when I’m obeying him wholeheartedly.  Its me doing whatever he asks without reservation or hesitation (no longer procrastinating about it but doing it without delay.)  A delayed obedience is really disobedience.  Scripture tells me that my instant obedience will teach me more about God than a lifetime of just talking about it as I may never understand some commands until I obey them first.  My quick obedience can unlock understanding.  So today I will consider things I’m doing that are only partial obedience (picking and choosing the commands I want to obey and hesitating on the others.)  I want to learn to do them with joyful enthusiasm.  I will add the following scripture to my daily quiet time,  "Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I'll wholeheartedly obey." (Psalm 119:33 LB)  Any act of obedience on my part is also an act of worship. When I’m obedient is proves I really love him.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Biblical Obedience: Love + Trust + Action

In summary of John 14:15 it says, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”

Bottom Line:
If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you

What this means to me:
Jesus is saying that If I truly love and trust him, I will do as he has told me to do.  I do this out of a true trust and love for him and what he has done to save me from myself.  I become more like him by doing life the way he explained it to be done.  This takes extreme trust on my end to follow, especially when I’m being selfish.  And this is not just a one time thing, it is something I need to obey, commit to and do each day.  Obedience in the Bible means this:  love + trust + action.  Starting with love, it comes from knowing that God loves me and I love him in return.  It’s not about fear but about a relationship of love.  From this love comes trust.  When I trust what God is saying and believe that he loves me, this will lead me to action.  I need to have all three because action without love is just mechanical religion. And love without action is just mere talk.  Today I will consider my actions as it relates to love, trust and action.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trusting God Is Good For My Health

In summary of Psalm 116:7 it says, “I said to myself, ‘Relax, because the LORD takes care of you.’”

Bottom Line:
Relax, If you truly follow God, he will take care of you

What this means to me:
God is with me and looks out for my best interest.  I don’t need worry about things, I can trust in Him.  He treats me well and is very kind to me.  God has given me my body and provides me with an owner’s manual - the Bible.  Within it are all the instructions I would need to care for myself and live a long life.  Trusting God is good for my health. As stated in his word, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 NIV).  This is true when I trust in him and not worry.  Also stated in his word, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30 NIV). It’s not just what I eat that matters, it’s what eats at me.  If my body is filled with resentment, worry, fear, lust, guilt, anger, bitterness, or any other emotional disease, it will shorten my life.  So ultimately I have a choice I can either; worry or worship, pray or panic.  The more I pray the less I’ll panic.  I can relax, because I know that God will take care of me.  Today I need to trust God with some of the physical issues I have; (numbness in my left arm and fingers, and my cold.)  If I look to him and pray he will guide me.  In addition, I often default to leaning on my own knowledge and understanding of things.  I need to learn to take things on my mind and heart to God to hear from him for guidance.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Expanding Skills To Succeed

In summary of Ecclesiastes 10:10 it says, “The duller the ax the harder the work; Use your head: The more brains, the less muscle.”

Bottom Line:
Use your head, take time to sharpen the ax, a little brain power will bring success.

What this means to me:
If I am to succeed in life, I cannot stop learning.  The minute I stop learning my contribution to the world around me stops.  Keeping my brain non-exercised with more knowledge/wisdom only wastes time.  I can keep learning by reading books, listening to a seminar or message on audio, continue to take classes and take notes while listening to the sermon at church.  God will use these things to expand my horizons.  As it is explained in Proverbs 19:8, “Do yourself a favor and learn all you can; then remember what you learn and you will prosper.”  A real solution to problems I might encounter is to continue training and learn all I can.  This year I will make it a priority to learn all I can and remember what I learn.  I know God will bless me through this in what I do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Character Is More Important Than Achievements

In summary of Romans 5:3-4 it says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”

Bottom Line:
We can continue to shout our praise even when problems, pressures and trials come.  They help us to develop our patience and endurance, which in turn further develops our character which strengthens our steady hope in what we believe regarding salvation.

What this means to me:
In the end, I’ll take nothing with me other than myself (my character.)  God is more interested in what I become rather than what I achieve.  In my life I will not be able to get away from temptation.  The closer I get to God the more I become an enemy of Satan and the more he will try to tempt me.  I can however count on the fact that God gives me a greater strength to resist it.  When I tempted to be unkind, angry, prideful or greedy I need to remind myself that its not only an opportunity to do good but also an opportunity to grow in character.  Instead of getting upset or angry I can pray for those who offend me instead of getting mad (use it as an opportunity to praise God.)  This should help frustrate Satan and help me grow naturally in a godly character as I apply God’s word to my life.